Toward the end of the calendar year many of us attempt to come up with goals and resolutions to focus on once we begin a new year, only to get off track with those good intentions before Valentine’s Day. We’ve all been there, right? While the calendar may not need to be taken off the wall and replaced by a new one for another few months, the start of a brand new college football season may be a good time to address some internal faults many of us may have when it comes to following our favorite sport, college football.
Here are a few I came up with, but feel free to add your own with a comment below.
Do not declare a team with one loss or an entire conference dead before the end of September.
Last year there were a number of people who ended up looking foolish or eating their own words after casting the Big Ten off from the College Football Playoff hunt after just two weeks of games. To be fair, I believed Ohio State was out of the picture without Braxton Miller and the early loss to Virginia Tech so I am as guilty as some. However, I did not believe the Big Ten was done. I just thought Michigan State had the best chance to represent the conference. The lesson learned, hopefully, was so much can happen in college football from one week to the next that there is no reason to jump to extreme conclusions before allowing everything to play out on the field.
The Big Ten is officially eliminated from placing a team in the playoff. It is September 6th.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) September 7, 2014
Speaking of which…
Do not get caught up in the weekly College Football Playoff rankings until it really matters.
It is nice to get an inside look at how the selection committee for the College Football Playoff is assessing the landscape, and by now we know the reason there is a weekly rankings show is purely for sparking conversation, page views and TV ratings. ESPN, to their credit, is a master of this science and we all fall for it. I recommend letting ESPN and the selection committee do whatever they want during the season, but reserve judgement on the job the committee has done until the last rankings have been released, which sets the playoff and New Years Six bowl picture. The selection committee has only one real job to do and that is to determine the four best teams in the nation at the end of the season and set the New Years Six bowl line-up. Everything else should be seen as an exhibition or practice for the committee for when it comes time to do their job at the end of the year.
And stop with the whole “If the season ended today, who is in your playoff” nonsense.
Learn the difference between FCS and Division 2.
One of the most common quips somebody will offer when discussion about a team from the FBS taking on a weak FCS opponent is the powerhouse program is playing a Division 2 school. No. Not at all, and not even close. Let’s stop making that foolish comment. And while we’re at it, let’s stop using the term 1-AA or the phrase “previously known as 1-AA” when discussing the Football Championship Subdivision. I know I’d rather stick with 1-AA, but this change in terminology was used too many years ago to be using those descriptive crutches when discussing the FCS.
Disregard any commentary from Skip Bayless or Skip Bayless clones
Listen not to what these men or women say, for they are there purely to ignite your vitriol. Do not fall for it. College football coverage needs more of Ivan Maisel and fewer hot takes, and it is there if you know where to look.
Embrace the Group of 5.
With the new postseason format guaranteeing a spot at the New Years Six table for the highest-ranked conference champion from the non-power conferences, there is reason to pay a little more attention to the weekly developments in the Mountain West Conference, American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, MAC and Sun Belt Conference. The teams from these conferences may not be in position to enter the big playoff discussion with just four spots available, but the jockeying for position for a chance to play in the Fiesta Bowl or Peach Bowl gives each game in those other conferences a little extra meaning. If Boise State stumbles, it now has a direct impact on the results in the American. If Cincinnati loses a game, fans around the MAC are more interested. This is good for college football and adds a little extra interest in what’s happening in these conferences. Pay attention to it. The drama will be real.